Bake the flavors of fall into homemade doughnuts! These Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts with Bourbon Butter are soft, sweet, and bursting with crisp apple flavor. Finished with bourbon butter and cinnamon sugar, each bite is warm and comforting!
Baked cinnamon apple doughnuts with bourbon butter
I have fond memories of indulging in warm apple cinnamon doughnuts with my family after our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. That said, these homemade Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts with Bourbon Butter are quite the nostalgic treat!
Imagine a soft, warm cinnamon apple doughnut glazed with bourbon butter and cinnamon sugar. It may come as a surprise, but making doughnuts from scratch is simple! After a quick bake in the oven, the apple doughnuts turn out to be soft and cakey with a fresh apple, cinnamon, and bourbon flavor.
These apple cinnamon baked doughnuts are a great way to unwind after a hard day of apple and pumpkin picking. Pair them with a Spiced Apple Brandy Cocktail or Pumpkin Spiced Affogato to finish the day the right way! For more fall favorites, check out my Pumpkin Spice Macarons and Chewy Molasses Cookies.
Homemade doughnuts: baked vs. fried
There’s no argument here; both baked and fried doughnuts are delicious. While yeast typically makes fried doughnuts rise, leavening agents (like baking soda, baking powder, and salt) help baked doughnuts plump up in the oven and give them a tender, cake-like crumb.
Baked doughnuts also typically have a fraction of the fat and calories compared to old-fashioned fried doughnuts. This quick and easy recipe will show you how to make baked apple doughnuts that are next-level delicious.
- Apples and applesauce - There’s no shortage of apples and applesauce in these doughnuts! It’s important that you use tart, sweet, and sturdy apples. Honeycrisps are delightful (especially in the fall), but Granny Smith, Braeburn, and pink lady are also good options.
- Warm spices - Cinnamon and nutmeg are vital to achieving warm and cozy fall flavors. Use quality, full-bodied spices for the most decadent flavor.
- Buttermilk, butter, and egg - This trio will give the doughnuts a moist muffin-like texture and consistency. Want to make your own buttermilk from scratch? Check out my guide for making homemade buttermilk or vegan buttermilk!
- Bourbon extract - For notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel. You can use vanilla extract here if you don’t have bourbon extract.
- Bourbon butter - After the doughnuts rest, they’re coated in a simple mixture of bourbon and melted butter. I brush the top of each doughnut with it while they’re warm so the buttery bourbon goodness soaks into the cake, adding moisture and flavor.
- Cinnamon-spiced sugar - As a rule of thumb, the ratio for spiced sugar is 1 part sugar to 1/10 part spice. Feel free to double up on the cinnamon sugar for the doughnuts or to coat sugar cookies, sprinkle on creme brûlée, and much more.
How to make baked apple cinnamon doughnuts
Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.
Step 2: Whisk the wet ingredients. Whisk the applesauce, sugar, buttermilk, butter, egg, and bourbon extract together in a separate bowl. Finish by gently folding in the apple.
Step 3: Finish the batter. Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until just combined.
Step 4: Pipe the batter and bake. Pipe the batter into your doughnut pan, filling each cavity just over halfway. Transfer the pan into the oven and bake until firm and golden.
Step 5: Prepare the toppings. Whisk the cinnamon and sugar together while you wait for the doughnuts. In a separate bowl, mix the bourbon and melted butter.
Step 6: Let them cool. Once baked, let the doughnuts cool for a few minutes in the pan before turning them out on a wire rack.
Step 7: Decorate and serve. Brush the tops of each baked apple cinnamon doughnut with the bourbon butter and coat in the cinnamon sugar. Enjoy!
Baking doughnuts without a doughnut pan
No, a doughnut pan is NOT necessary for this recipe. To bake the doughnuts without a doughnut pan, use a mini bundt pan, muffin pan, or mini muffin pan instead. The baking times will vary, so keep an eye on your oven and double-check for doneness with a toothpick.
Expert tips and variations
- Toothpick trick - When your doughnuts are finished baking, they should be plump, firm, and golden. To check for doneness, make sure a toothpick inserted into one of the doughnuts comes out clean.
- Apple pie spice - If you have apple pie spice (or pumpkin pie spice), by all means, use it instead of cinnamon.
- No bourbon at home? Feel free to omit it entirely and simply dip each doughnut in melted butter and cinnamon sugar. Alternatively, coat the doughnuts in maple syrup or honey mixed with butter, my vanilla doughnut glaze, or this salted caramel buttercream.
Baked cake doughnuts are best enjoyed fresh from the oven while still soft and warm. If you have any extras, keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for 2 to 3 days.
More baked doughnut recipes
- Glazed Chocolate Espresso Doughnuts
- Coconut Cream Baked Doughnuts
- Dark Chocolate Pecan Doughnuts
- Vanilla Bean & Rose Baked Doughnuts
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try these apple cinnamon baked doughnuts, please leave a review or share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Apple Bourbon Spice Doughnuts
- Doughnut Baking Pan
Apple Spice Doughnuts
- 2 Cups (250 g) All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 3 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 2 tablespoon (30 g) Unsalted Butter, Melted and Cooled
- 1 Large Egg
- ¼ Cup (60 g) Buttermilk
- ⅓ Cup (75 g) Granulated Sugar
- ½ Cup (122 g) Applesauce
- 1 teaspoon Bourbon Extract, or Vanilla Extract
- ⅓ of a (90) Apple, grated
Spiced Sugar Coating
- ½ Cup (100 g) Granulated Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Bourbon
- 2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, Melted
- First off, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F before making your doughnut batter.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and ground cinnamon and set aside.2 Cups All-Purpose Flour, 2 teaspoon Baking powder, ½ teaspoon Salt, ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda, 3 teaspoon Cinnamon, ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- Then in a large bowl, whisk together the butter, egg, granulated sugar, buttermilk, bourbon extract and applesauce mixing together until everything has fully combined.2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, 1 Large Egg, ¼ Cup Buttermilk, ⅓ Cup Granulated Sugar, 1 teaspoon Bourbon Extract, ½ Cup Applesauce
- Gently fold in your grated apple, then the dry ingredients until combined.⅓ of a Apple
- Spray donut pan with a light layer of non-stick cooking spray. Pipe the doughnut batter into your doughnut pan filling each cavity just over halfway, then place the tray in the oven to bake for 11-12 minutes.
- While your doughnuts are baking, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar and melt 2 Tbsp. of butter. Add Bourbon to the melted butter and gently mix to combine.½ Cup Granulated Sugar, 1 tablespoon Cinnamon, 2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, 1 tablespoon Bourbon
- After baking, allow the doughnuts to cool for 3-5 minutes before brushing the tops with Bourbon butter then immediately coat in cinnamon sugar before enjoying!
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